Subsea pipeline on rock dump support
Subsea pipeline routed over a pre-installed rock berm

 Engineering Objectives

Typical EPCI contracts include a substantial engineering scope of work that addresses the requirements of both detailed design as well as installation of the varied infrastructure to be installed from pipe lay and subsea construction vessels.  The engineering scope and objectives includes the following elements:

System design EngineeringSatisfy the functional specification of the production system.
Detailed design EngineeringSatisfy the required safety and reliability conditions for each component, while maintaining compatibility with the system functional specification.
Interface EngineeringDemonstrate the compatibility of components in the SURF scope of work with other systems or components in the development area.
Installation EngineeringDemonstrate the efficiency and viability of installing infrastructure from specific vessels.  Often includes validation of installation methods and definition of limiting weather criteria.

The Key Success Factors

The objective of the engineering programme within an EPCI contract is to ensure that the global pipeline production system satisfies the functional specification defined by the operator.  This functional specification is usually developed early in the project cycle as part of the so-called Front End Engineering and Design (FEED).  The role of the EPCI contractor is validate the FEED engineering and then determine the optimal execution strategy based on:

  1. The operators attitude to commercial and technical risk;
  2. The available technology, including any proprietary systems such as Bundle systems, high performance Pipe-in-Pipe solutions, novel insulation or coating solutions and  riser technology;
  3. Vessel capabilities, including transit speed, crane capacity, available desk space, reel capacity, weather  limitations and pipe-lay system constraints;
  4. Their ability to accommodate a changing schedule and budget constraints.

Each SURF contracting organisation is able to offer a unique set of technical solutions by combining the proprietary technology and   strategic assets they have access to.

Engineering Added Value

The benefit that the engineering functions of contracting organisations can provide is in maximising the range of projects that are commercially attractive with the available mix of proprietary technology and strategic assets.

The ability to deliver predictable and reliable project execution by managing the risks that are inherent in the chosen development strategy then define the commercial success of an organisation.

The first step in “getting it right” is to ensure the chosen solution is robust and aligned with the organisations capabilities.  Following on from this, the organisations ability to integrate engineering teams into the project, leverage the opportunities that arise through the project cycle and adapt to emergent challenges impact the profitability of individual contracts.